Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

M&S clothing back in growth

Marks & Spencer’s clothing sales, particularly in womenswear, have shown a small increase in the most recent quarter despite an overall fall in general merchandise.

In the 13 weeks to March 29, the retailer saw group sales rise 1.9%, with UK total sales up 1.5%, while like-for-likes fell 0.2%. Much of this was driven by food, which rose 2.5% and 0.1% respectively.

Within general merchandise- the arm that includes clothing – total sales rose just 0.2%, while like-for-likes fell 0.6%.

However clothing outperformed the wider category, with total sales rising 1.3% in total sales and like-for-likes up 0.6%.

M& was up 12.5% in the period, and international sales rose 4.7%.

Chief executive Marc Bolland described it as “another quarter of improvement” for general merchandise.

“We are encouraged by womenswear, which is showing clear signs of improvement and performed ahead of clothing,” he said.  The relaunched M&S Collection in womenswear was singled out for having seen a notable uplift.

The statement issued by M&S this morning said customers were “responding well to our re-focus on quality and style”.

However, the company is now guiding that gross margins for general merchandise in the second half will be down “as a result of a highly promotional market”. Food will offset this slightly, but in total UK gross margin is likely to be down 20 basis points.

M&S will report its full year results on May 20.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Looking within the silo, womenswear results could be reviewed positively. However when comparing with major competitors, it is far more worrying, especially as they launched their new website in this time frame.

    When M&S do get it right, they should be step changing their results. It's so frustrating to watch. There are easy wins being missed. Management cannot be spending enough time in stores to realise it.

    Not enough endeavour working outside of the silo either.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.